During earthquake swarms on active volcanoes, one of the primary challenges facing scientists is determining the likelihood of an eruption. Here we present the relation between repose time and the cumulative moment magnitude (CMM) as a tool to aid in differentiating between an eruption and a period of unrest. In several case studies, the CMM is lower at shorter repose times than it is at longer repose times. The relationship between repose time and CMM may be linear in log-log space, particularly at Mount St. Helens. We suggest that the volume and competence of the plug within the conduit drives the strength of the precursory CMM.
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Repose time and cumulative moment magnitude: A new tool for forecasting eruptions?